Pandora welcomes indie musicians with open submissions

submit to pandora 300wPandora announced a new open submission process for independent artists and small labels who wish to place music in Pandora’s streams. The new submission system is creating buzz in musician communities.

The breakthrough aspect for independent musicians is ease of submission. For the first time, Pandora does not require a CD to consider music. Musicians must have their tracks or albums posted online somewhere, such as the popular Bandcamp site. The submission process involves registering a free account at Pandora and putting in links to the music.

Pandora promises that every submitted track is reviewed by its Music Genome staff. The company does not promise to add every submission to its catalog, naturally enough. But the announcement brags about its indie-music : “Nearly two-thirds of Pandora’s music catalogue is indie music, with approximately 44 percent of total spins on Pandora coming from indie labels and self-releasing artists.”

Pandora’s new submission system is a win on both sides of the fence. Pandora gains credibility and appreciation from musicians — although that doesn’t provide immunity from complaints about streaming royalty payouts generally. For musicians, Pandora’s new ease-of-access circumvents the more complex, and more expensive, aggregation system employed by CD Baby, Tunecore, and others. Those systems take a share of revenue in exchange for handling submission to dozens of distribution points. Pandora cannot replace all other outlets in the minds of musicians, but it does provide a dead-simple ramp into streaming distribution, while conforming to the trend of releasing music as files-only, without a CD.

Brad Hill